Footballers playing in the top flight league have admitted that it is not easy to play while fasting but rather it is possible because of Allah.
Speaking to this website some Muslim players said that they are determined to take the religion of Islam into the football world.
Big bullets and former national team longtime goalkeeper Swadick Sanudi said that football is a game that requires more energy.
“Football is a physical game it needs determination. It is this reason that we bear to play football while fasting. Even us (goalkeepers) we also use a lot of energy to play goal kicks, shout at our defenders, use our hands to save shots coming on our goals. We take responsibilities to save difficult situations for our teams,” said Sanudi.
He further said that a Muslim footballers have to economize there energy to sustain all the environments when playing football at top level.
“Sometimes we have to plan properly on how to conserve our energy to complete the day. There are times when we have crucial games we have to ask the coaches whether they need our services or not. But for me, I do sometimes ask the coaches to excuse me if it is a crucial game,” he said.
Another footballer Owen Kalibwanji, 21, who play for Blantyre united said that it is always good to be a practicing Muslim while playing football at highest level in Malawi.
“I manage to play football at this level because I have seen many Muslim footballers playing while fasting. There are a number of great players locally and internationally who have inspired me to take the challenge. There is Rafik Mussa who always plays good football while observing Islamic teachings. There are players like frank Ribery in France and Sulley Muntari of Ghana who are Muslims and they are amongst great footballers in the world. So I take courage from these players and believe in myself that I can also play while fasting,” said the attacking midfielder.
Rahim Ismail formerly of Big bullets also said that it is a very difficult thing to play while fasting.
“Frankly speaking, it is not easy to play football during times like this. Sometimes we break the fast to play a game if the game is very crucial,” said Rahim.
He also said that while playing for bullets he also learned some experience for Muslim footballers.
“Other countries are hotter than Malawi. With bullets, we travelled to West Africa, North Africa and southern Africa, other countries you cannot manage to fast and play. Even those countries they also do the same, they break for a crucial game and fast on the separate day after the month of Ramadan,” he said.
There are a great number of Muslim footballers plating in the TNM super league as well as coaches. One of the coaches in the TNM super league who is a Muslim is Eliya kananji coach for Blantyre united and he also shared his experience.
“During these moments of fasting it is always good to see your fellow Muslims especially players’ following your footsteps. This gives you courage and possibly makes you feel proud of your religion. We are two in the TNM super league together with Abbass Makawa of Epac FC in Lilongwe. We are like brother in religion. We encourage each other never to retreat when it comes to Islam. We also assist Muslim players on how best they can make their fasting while playing football,” kananji said.
There are many notable Muslim players who have played in the top flight league as well as the national team. Some of them are: Yasin Osman, Yusuf Matumula, Swadick Sanudi and his brother, Bashir Maunde captain of Azaam tigers, Muhammad Sulumba of Blantyre united, Malawi national team defender John Lanjesi, former Malawi national team captain John Maduka and his brother Eliya Maduka,Idrissa Walesi, Ibrahim Sadiki AKA ‘thwala’ just to mention a few.